This is all going to be a little random, because it is a couple of weeks or more since the shoot and it is all something of a fuzzy memory in many ways (a warm one, though).
The first thing to mention is the weather.
For weeks I’d been keeping my fingers crossed that we wouldn’t have to deal with heavy rain. Not because we were outside at all, but because I had definite worries that the roof of the building we were in would turn into a major piece of tympani! Rain, a tin roof and a sound man with his boom are NOT a match made in heaven.
So when the best forecast we could get basically said that it would be dry and sunny, we (John & I) were definitely relieved.
But then the other side of the meteorological equation became apparent.
Britain was in the grasp of an unseasonable arctic freeze that hadn’t been seen in 50 years. The average temperature was zero degrees centigrade! And the wind chill factor, if we ventured outside took that down to about -5!
We had a small blast heater that would have been completely fine in ‘normal for the time of year’ conditions. We were way beyond normal… and we needed to take some immediate action or the shoot would have literally frozen to a halt.
Let’s face it, the setting if the film is a Middle Eastern prison, with a lighting design set up to reflect that sort of bright, dry heat that you would expect to find (…most of the time because, yes, I know, Tehran does have mountains nearby and proper winter weather, but that was not our design!)
So we quickly phoned around and found a big industrial space heater that ran of gas and basically looked and sounded like a portable jet engine. Not ideal, but we got it installed and finally we could work without being dressed like arctic adventurers.
And I have to say at this point that everyone involved… actors, crew and anyone else who came by, stuck to their guns with a great deal of good humour and professional stoicism. (I’m sure I was getting cursed behind my back, but thankfully never to my face)
We did have to have the heater blasting out between takes and then switched off while we worked, but it was a remarkably workable situation. The dreaded ‘cold breath’ being one of the biggest concerns… well, that never really caused too much hassle… and everyone stayed focused on what they had to do.
A constant supply of hot drinks was definitely in order, and Henry and George (the on-set go-to guys) were always ready, willing and able on that score.
The strangest thing I found is that, because we had a lamp set up showing strong sunlight into the cell, every so often, when I was particularly cold, I’d step into the ‘sunlight’ to warm up… only to be bitterly disappointed that it wasn’t real… and I did it over and over again during the shoot – possibly a sign that I was going mad… who knows!
Here’s a couple of pics showing us wrapped up for work!